Researcher: Dutch Red Cross failed to protect WWII Jews

A historian at a respected institute says those running the Dutch branch of the Red Cross did "little or nothing" to help Jews persecuted by Nazi occupiers in the Netherlands during World War II or those transported to camps elsewhere in Europe.

The conclusions, which underpin earlier findings, come in a book presented Wednesday by Regina Grueter of the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies following a four-year investigation commissioned by the Red Cross.

Grueter says the Hague-based board of the Dutch red Cross "abandoned the Jewish population."

The current chairwoman of the Red Cross board, Inge Brakman, apologized unreservedly to the Jewish community at a book launch in Amsterdam. Brakman says the Red Cross "shirked its duties during World War II."